7 Benefits of Lithium

By | November 28, 2014

Lithium, the mineral known for its efficacy against bipolar disorder, has become one of the most effective go-to prescriptions for psychiatric disorders. What many do not know, however, is that lithium offers a host of other lesser-known benefits, many of which go far beyond brain health. Lithium orotate, one of the popular lithium supplements, is perhaps the most bioavailable lithium available. Look out for this form when looking for supplementation.

What is Lithium?

Lithium is a trace mineral in the same class as essential electrolyte minerals like sodium and potassium. Largely considered a drug, many medical doctors and nutrition authorities believe it to be a vital trace mineral and an essential nutrient. Many health organizations repeat its benefits for the body, setting a provisional recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults at 1 mg per day. [1] Lithium orotate, which differs from prescription lithium carbonate, is lithium combined with orotic acid. It was developed by Dr. Hans Nieper.

The Seven Health Benefits of Lithium

Below is a brief list of the seven little-known health benefits of lithium. Remember that lithium orotate is the best option for lithium considering its safety and bioavailability. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does provide a bit more insight into its amazing versatility.

1. Promotes Normal Brain Health

Studies have shown that lithium may increase grey matter volume in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, most likely through the generation of new stem cells. This process is called neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells. Research also demonstrates lithium’s neuroprotective potential and ability to discourage age-­related, neurodegenerative brain shrinkage. [2][3] Research shows that smaller doses of lithium orotate can be used to maintain therapeutic brain levels of lithium for longer periods of time compared with lithium carbonate. These findings could revolutionize the field of brain research and neurodegenerative disease.

2. Supports Bone Health

The effects of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals integral to bone formation, may be enhanced through lithium supplementation. Some research indicates lithium’s potential to support bone strength. Lithium may also stimulate bone formation. [4][5][6][7]

3. Promotes Focus and Attention

In one randomized, double-blind study comparing a popular mind medicine with lithium, it was found that lithium was comparable at addressing the most common symptoms of short attention span and even secondary symptoms like mood imbalance. [8]

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